A96/Fochabers and Mosstodloch Bypass
|Fochabers and Mosstodloch Bypass|
|Location Map ( geo)|
|Fochabers and Mosstodloch|
|Construction Start Date|
| Mosstodloch bypass|
27 September 2011
31 January 2012
The A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen passes though various towns along its routes, several of these towns such as Forres and Huntly have been bypassed or had other improvements to improve traffic flow through them over the years. In Fochabers the A96 ran through the main High Street making it a bottleneck on the route.
In October 2009 Transport Scotland awarded the £31.5 million contract to Morrison Construction. Construction started on the project on the 2nd of February 2010 with the then transport minister Stewart Stevenson taking part in the ground-breaking ceremony.
The bypass is two separate sections of new alignments of road, bypassing to the north of Fochabers and to the south of Mosstodloch, which are connected by the existing Fochabers Bridge across the River Spey which separates the two villages.
The bypass connects to the existing roads by four roundabouts; to the West of Mosstodloch, Cowfords Roundabout; West of the Spey crossing, Coul Brae Roundabout; East of the Spey, Spey Bay Roundabout and East of Fochabers, Fochabers East Roundabout.
Most of the route is a single carriageway with overtaking lanes, the main bypasses of Fochabers and Mosstodloch are WS2+1 standard with alternating overtaking provision (overtaking lanes leaving the roundabout, changing over mid-way). To the East of Fochabers the road is S2+1 with Eastbound overtaking provision as it connects to the existing road layout. The part of the route crossing the Spey remains as a two lane single carriageway.
The route features one accommodation over-bridge to the East of the Spey Bay Roundabout to maintain access to the main driveway to Gordon Castle, the grounds of which lie to the North of the route. There is one accommodation underpass to the east of this bridge to provide access to Gordon Castle Farm.
There are four pedestrian/cycle underpasses along the route to maintain routes for pedestrians, also two puffin crossings have been added either side of the Spey bridge.
The bypasses sections of route through the villages have become extensions of the existing B roads they are linked to.
The B9015 from the South of Mosstodloch has been realigned to head East to meet the A96 at Coul Brae Roundabout as its original route is bisected by the bypass, although remains open to pedestrians and cyclists via an underpass. The road then heads back to the West through Mosstodloch where is splits, with its main route continuing North to Garmouth and a spur continuing on the former A96 route to Cowfords Roundabout.
The A98 previously met the A96 at a mini roundabout within Fochabers, this route has been shortened by approximately 300m to terminate at the Fochabers East Roundabout with the downgraded road becoming part of the aforementioned extension of the B9104.
One road connects to the bypass at a junction that isn't a roundabout, this is an unclassified road to Dipple to the West of the River Spey which joins at a left in-left out T-junction with right turns being made by turning at the roundabouts a short distance either side.
The work was planned to take around 27 months being completed in the spring of 2012. The Mosstodloch bypass part of the project was completed ahead of scheduled and was opened to traffic on the 27 of September 2011 with an opening ceremony with the Transport minister, Keith Brown. It initially opened with a 30 mph speed limit in force and only a single lane in each direction, although full opening of all lanes and removal of the temporary speed limits happened a few weeks later.
The Fochabers bypass was opened on 31 of January 2012, again by Keith Brown, marking the completion of the project, also with a temporary 30 mph speed limit which remained in force for a short period until work next to the carriageway was complete. Work on local accesses, footways and landscaping was completed in the following months.
Work starts on £31.5 million A96 road scheme (Archived)
Major A96 upgrade opens early and on budget (Archived)